The rapid pace of technology development can be dizzying. In the professional services arena, technology is accelerating change in every department and practice and affects almost all roles and responsibilities. In particular, marketing and business development professionals today are being tasked with implementing and understanding an increasingly wide array of technologies including CRM and ERM, digital marketing and event management tools, websites and blogs, proposal and experience systems and sales pipelines and other related and integrated systems.
A New View of CRM
CRM or Client Relationship Management is often at the center of the technology landscape.
When Does CCPA Start?
- The California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) is effective January 1, 2020.
- It also includes a 12-month “look-back” period to January 1, 2019.
- It is also important to note that several amendments to the Act are still pending.
What Does CCPA Say?
While a good part of CCPA is directed at entities who collect and sell personal information for profit, there are significant sections that would be applicable to professional services firms. Specifically, the Act is intended to:
- “…grant a consumer a right to request a business to disclose the categories and specific pieces of personal information that it collects about the consumer,
A happy holiday season starts with a clean mailing list. Whether your firm sends holiday greetings electronically or mails traditional physical cards, so much effort goes into this annual ritual – from decisions around the format to the design, to the artwork and/or animation, to gift or not to gift, or maybe a charitable donation. And let’s not forget that the wording of the greeting itself must be politically correct. It’s enough to make you dread the upcoming holiday season (or go looking for some strong eggnog!)
But we’re going to focus on a more mundane, yet critical function: the nuts and bolts of making sure your holiday mailing list is clean,
Building your own dream home is something that many people want to do someday. While the concept sounds lovely—having your perfect place with all of the features your heart desires—many people don’t contemplate that, like any worthwhile project, it can also be a lot of work.
Planning for and selecting a CRM system can actually be a lot like building that house. You can look at multiple models, pick out the features you want and make decisions about any optional upgrades. You can evaluate options and look on websites for ideas and see how certain features and functions work.
Did you ever spend time researching and shopping for something you really wanted? You looked at it online – maybe even made a trip to a brick and mortar store – and then, once you concluded that it was exactly what you wanted, you place your order to be delivered, and you wait…
Then, after much anticipation the box arrives and, alas, you discover that the item you have been eagerly awaiting is not fully assembled. In fact, it has a lot of scattered parts and pieces and directions that don’t seem very helpful (but at least they are available in eight languages!)
At this point,
Here are a few more top tips to help you gain the upper hand with dirty data and prevent future contact collapses. To see the rest of the list, read The Dirty Data Domino Effect: Mastering the Game – Part 3.
- People and Processes: To prevent bad data in the future, take the time to talk to the individuals who are the contributors to and custodians of existing data sources. Of course, this includes your system users. Communicate with them about the importance of good data quality and train them to help prevent future problems.
We could talk all day about the giant puzzle created by dirty data. But to master the data quality domino game, it’s more important to focus on stopping the data dominoes from falling and blocking future issues so you don’t get buried under a pile of bad data.
Based on more than a decade of experience in working together with hundreds of top firms on CRM and data quality projects, here are some top tips to help you identify data quality issues and prevent future problems.
1. Assess: Start by stepping back from the never-ending data deluge and take a minute to assess the mess and come up with answers to a few important questions that can help you to scope the situation:
- How much bad data do we have?
Bad data in professional services firms often transcends the CRM. Time and billing data can often be the worst. In many firms, the information in the financial systems is often entered haphazardly by assistants whose primary objective is to get a matter open as quickly as possible so the billing can begin. While this hasty business process is understandable, it also represents a missed opportunity to enter relevant data about Clients such as their company, key contacts and industries.
Compensation systems can compound the problem with companies entered multiple times to facilitate sharing credit. For a firm’s top Clients,
The Data Quality Dilemma
Marketing and business development professionals spend a great deal of time carefully lining up plans to effectively communicate with key contacts. Like dominoes, we align our messages and target our audiences to achieve critical objectives; each communication, each invitation, each interaction carefully placed to reach the desired result.
But one thing can cause even the most effective marketing strategy to topple: bad data. Without clean, correct and complete data, our messages can fall flat, our interactions become ineffective and our results erode.
Big Bad Data
These days, we keep hearing a lot of buzz about big data,
CRM is one of the best technology tools for effective eMarketing and communication with Clients and other contacts. But, as with other aspects of CRM, achieving the desired results often also requires putting effective processes and procedures in place.
In professional services firms, lists for alerts, updates, newsletters, invitations and other communications are typically the primary means for segmenting a firm’s contacts and ensuring that the firm regularly communications with its target audiences to share relevant information and attorney experience and expertise. As a result, in working together with hundreds of top firms to help them achieve CRM and eMarketing success,
The team at CLIENTSFirst has helped hundreds of firms succeed with CRM. A key to that success for many firms involves getting attorneys to use the system or at least share their information. However, as mentioned in our last post, When Attorneys Ask, “What’s In It (CRM) For Me, getting attorney adoption can be challenging unless you can demonstrate that the system will provide them with benefits they really care about.
Based on more than 12 years of experience in working together with top professional services firms, here are some of the key CRM needs that attorneys find most valuable.
Most law firms have a CRM system, but few can say that they are actually getting return on their CRM investment. How much value it provides in a law firm depends on attorney buy-in. If your firm wants to increase adoption, you have to show them not just why CRM is important for the success of the firm, but what’s in it for them. Here are some suggestions for demonstrating real value for your attorneys.
For CRM to succeed in a law firm, the attorneys first need to understand that if they commit some time to it, CRM can make their professional lives easier and less stressful,
Top Benefits of Outsourcing Marketing Technology Support – Part 2: Is Outsourcing Right for Your Firm?
Outsourcing some marketing functions, especially in areas that involve technologies to support marketing and business development, can solve a number of problems and provide important benefits for your firm and team. In our last post, Top Benefits of Outsourcing Marketing Technology Support Part 1, we offered some good examples and a summary of the benefits that firms can gain from outsourcing. But before you determine that outsourcing is right for your firm, consider these key questions to help you decide:
Is Outsourcing Right for Your Firm?
There are many factors to consider before deciding to outsource marketing and business development technology functions.
Firm leaders are always looking for ways to make their organizations more efficient, reduce costs improve business development effectiveness and enhance profitability. To help firms achieve all of these important goals, outsourcing marketing functions can be an excellent option – especially in areas that involve technologies to support marketing and business development.
In over a decade of helping hundreds of firms improve marketing and business development technology processes and efficiency, we have found that outsourcing key functions to trained and experienced professionals can solve a number of problems while also providing important benefits. Here are a few examples:
- Problem: After making a large initial investment in a CRM system,
In our previous post, The Top 10 Challenges to CRM Success and How to Avoid Them – Part 1, we discussed the five challenges that are most often encountered when implementing a CRM. Here are five more that we typically see – along with some best practices and solutions for success:
Successful CRM implementations are not quick, easy or cheap. This is the reason they are also not common. Failure to dedicate adequate resources – including time, money and people – is one of the most frequent missteps. Additionally, expectations regarding the actual costs and time required for a CRM implementation are often unrealistic.